The environmental effects of geothermal power generation which cause air and water pollution and destruction of natural areas are reviewed. The production of steam and hot water affect existing hot springs sources and can cause ground subsidence. Harmful gas can be released onto the atmosphere from fumarolic gas and hot springs. Hydrothermal geothermal fields occasionally contain harmful substances such as arsenic in the hot water. Serious environmental effects can result from geothermal exploitation activities such as the felling of trees for road construction, well drilling, and plant construction. Once geothermal power generation has begun, the release of H/sub 2/S into the atmosphere and the reinjection of hot water are conducted continuously and sufficient countermeasures can be taken. One problem is the effects of plant construction and operation on natural parks. It is important to reach a compromise between development and protection of natural senic areas. Two figures, two tables, and 13 references are provided.